Waid, Cosby & Nelson on Boom's 'Dead Run'

Waid, Cosby & Nelson on Dead Run

Dead Run #1, cover B

Mark Waid was given the chance to asked Eureka creator Andrew Cosby and Hexed creator Michael Alan Nelson 11 questions about their newest book from Boom! Studios - Dead Run. Hitting stores this June, Dead Run #1 sports covers by Eric Canete and Jason Shawn Alexander with interior art by Francesco Biagini, This is the chaos that ensued:

Mark Waid: In one incredibly long run-on sentence, can you describe Dead Run?

Andrew Cosby: Set against the backdrop of post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, Nick Masters works as a courier, making daring runs in his tricked-out ride into the mutant-filled wastelands that lie beyond his walled mega-city, which is all well and good until a local crime lord kidnaps his sister, forcing Nick to make the legendary run from Los Angeles to San Francisco, something no one has ever done and lived to tell about. There. How's that for run-on?

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Michael Alan Nelson: We'll let Andy's description stand. Thanks to Sister Virgine and her Ruler of Grammatical Justice, I spent a semester of fifth grade having to write by holding my pencil between my elbows. It is now impossible for me to write a run-on sentence without breaking into night terrors.

WAID: What do you guys think the future will be like? How good a President will I make?

COZ: Assuming we can recover from the massive economic and socio-political collapse that follows the global pandemic of 2011... er... wait... you guys don't know about that yet. Um... what I meant to say is, things will be great! No worries! Mark, you're gonna make a fine President. Maybe even better than Bush.

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MAN: Sometime this century, the Yellowstone Caldera will have reduced North America to a smoldering dustbin, thereby denying you a chance at winning a second term to your glorious presidency. I, however, will be living somewhere in New Zealand when all of this happens. Good luck!

WAID: What inspired Dead Run?

COZ: I'm a huge 2000 A.D. fan. My dad used to bring them back from business trips abroad when I was a kid, and I couldn't get enough of the stuff. I was also an avid gamer, and one two of my favorites were Gamma World and Car Wars. So I guess you could say those were the main inspirations. I wanted to do a book that paid homage to all that. Cars, mutants, mega-cities, rape gangs. You know, kid stuff.

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MAN: I've always been a big fan of apocalyptic stories. One of my favorites is Larry Niven's Lucifer’s Hammer. To this day it's one of the best apocalypse stories I've ever read. Even though it's more cerebral than what you'll find in Dead Run, it certainly helped influence some of what I brought to the table. But this series is really all about having big, big fun.

WAID: Take me through the creative process a bit--what's the collaboration like between you two?

COZ: I get really drunk, sick all over myself, sober up a bit and type out whatever fever dream ideas happen to creep up through my gin-soaked memory. Then Mike somehow turns all of that into story and character. It's what we writer folk refer to as "process."

MAN: It's true. Even the emails he sends me smell like vomit. Thankfully, what he sends me is always fantastic and more than good enough to make up for the stench of alcohol and bile. Plus, with this story, it really helped set the mood.

WAID: Why do you think future sci-fi speculation is such an exciting and popular genre?

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COZ: Because it's the great unknown. We can speculate about the future, make best guesses and dream about the possibilities, but ultimately no one really knows what's gonna happen. And no matter what we do, it's coming. The future will arrive on our doorstep, one way or another, whether we're still home to receive it or not. To me, that's what's so exciting about speculative sci-fi. It's all about the "What if...?" Will robots rise up against us? Will zombies take over the planet? Will intelligent beings from another galaxy steal our women? Nobody knows, so the door is wide open.

MAN: I completely agree with Andy. I also think it has to do with how far we've already come. We are living in the future. We're seeing some amazing things happen scientifically and we're getting to the point where it's hard to imagine what will happen next. There's this sense that we've reached such a pinnacle of our advancement that the only place left to go is down.

WAID: What do you like about these kinds of stories?

COZ: Asked and answered your honor. In a word, I love the possibilities.

MAN: Watching ordinary people find impossible solutions to impossible problems. It doesn't get much better than that.

WAID: How have you guys tweaked that formula?

COZ: I think we've done a car story that isn't about the car. In fact, the car isn't even that big a deal in this book - it's the characters inside that count. Not that I'm comparing the two, but Road Warrior is a classic example of this. It's not a movie about a car - it's a movie about a man. Go back and look at the poster. It's Mel Gibson walking down the road with his dog. That movie took the car genre to a new level, and I guess it's a huge inspiration for us on this comic. As we all know, comics and cars go together like peace and the Middle East - it's just not a medium suited to fast-driving action. We're not elevating genre or anything, but we are trying to do something with comics that comics aren't traditionally built to handle.

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MAN: The trick was trying to have those needed moments spent in and around the car engaging. That meant having to come up with scenes that used the car in (hopefully) interesting ways. Not an easy thing to do, but I think we were successful.

WAID: How soon do you think it'll be before the world is destroyed and run by the corrupt?

COZ: Uh... go back exactly one President and I think you'll have your answer.

MAN: Um, with respect to all of our right-leaning readers and fans...oh hell, what he said.

WAID: What are going to be the genuinely valuable and scarce resources of the 21st century?

COZ: Water, for sure. Clean drinking water. It's the one thing no one can live without, and someday it's going to be the most valuable commodity on the planet. That and nude photos of Melissa Gilbert. What? Just me?

MAN: Reason. It's slipping away from us at an alarming rate. It boggles my mind how much undiluted crazy there is out there.

WAID : What can we do, as comic fans, to change that bleak outlook?

COZ: Simple. If you happen to be someplace where Melissa Gilbert is sunbathing...

MAN: Don't...

COZ: or maybe even trying on clothes...

MAN: Please...

#1, cover A

COZ: just take your camera


MAN: And leave the women in peace. (At the behest of my lawyer, I wish to announce that I do not endorse stalking of any kind and feel that Melissa Gilbert is a lovely woman who has every right to her privacy as do the rest of us.) As for as protecting Reason, perhaps a good way to start would be to not send Andy pictures of Melissa Gilbert. I can assure you that there is no apocalyptic scenario where they would ever be considered currency. Ever. Okay, maybe one, but I highly doubt we'll ever be attacked by an army of bipedal bearded collies.

WAID: If you had to tell readers why to read the book, what would you say? And by "if", I mean tell the readers.

COZ: It's fun -- good old-fashioned sci-fi pulp adventure with a uniquely familiar spin. Don't read it because you're looking for the next Y: The Last Man. We love it, but we ain't it... and we're not trying to be. Read it because you're looking for a fun story where road mutants get punched in the face and damsels get un-distressed. That's what this book is all about.

MAN: Because I know where you all live. Every. Single. One of you. Oh great, my lawyer is yelling at me again...

Dead Run #1 goes on sale in June from BOOM! Studios and has a Diamond Code of APR090724.

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